Jacqueline de Jong, Imagination à rebours; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Jacqueline de Jong’s (1939) biography reads like an artistic history of western Europe from the Second World War onwards.

Oddly enough, in the Netherlands she doesn’t have the fame she deserves, for her work as a visual artist, but also as an international key role player, for instance as founder, publisher and editor of The Situationist Times in the 1960s.

She belongs to a generation that shaped modern and postmodern western Europe and played an important role in it, always in favour of crossing borders in artistic expression.

Dürst Britt & Mayhew were happy enough to get in touch with her and finding her more than willing to co-operate in organising a modest but impressive exhibition of her paintings, spanning some five decades.

Here are some impressions of her works presently on show, but i strongly advise you to take your time and have a look yourself.

Dürst Britt & Mayhew, as usual, honour the works in the best way they can, giving the viewer time and space to reflect on what he/she sees.

It is thrilling to see even her most recent works full of painterly energy, often both wildly expressive and meticulously detailed and balanced in one painting, and combining humour and violence.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all photographs courtesy to Jacqueline de Jong and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag.


Bertus Pieters

Bram De Jonghe, En dat ook (And that too); 1646, The Hague

I visited Bram De Jonghe’s present show En dat ook (And that too) at 1646 to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch; with spoiler alert).

I leave you here with just a few details as it is much better to go and see this fine show yourself.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all photographs courtesy to Bran De Jonghe and 1646, Den Haag


Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #42

Façade, Molenstraat, originally built in the first half of the 18th century with cornice and dormer in Louis XIV style.

Present façade probably with (late) 19th century modifications.

Shop front neo-baroque, beginning of the 20th century, including a partly destroyed decoration. It is a municipal monument.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

All photographs were taken in March 2016


Bertus Pieters

Bernice Nauta, Ach ja & Kolja Gollub, The V-Machine; Billytown, The Hague

Billytown had to leave its last fine space in the industrial Binckhorst area and now they just opened a new gallery in the Laakkwartier area.


“ALWAYS KEEP DOOR LOCKED PLEASE!” (for Dutch learners: find the mistakes in the spelling)

Though the Billytown artists often have a monumental look on space, they are aware of the idea that even the most monumental things are ephemeral, as the artists are allowed to occupy the new location for only one year.

That means they are presently busy transforming into a gallery this monumental school, built in times of the Wall Street Crash.


In the mean time Bilytown opened its first exhibition as the show must go on.

Like in the last premises, there is  a main exhibition and a smaller one in the kitchen, except that the Billytown Kitchen gallery has for the moment moved to the stairwell.

In the case of Kolja Gollub’s (1990) presentation that seems to be a very good solution.

His works conflate different modernist assumptions, which are usually conveniently seen as opposite and as such they fit very well into the once modernist style of the architecture.

They seem to be made for the stairwell and the classroom.

To be complete Gollub also shows his alternative money, the T-Taler, both in coins and in a kind of anonymous banknotes.

Bernice Nauta (1991) has her first solo exhibition called Ach ja, which is difficult to translate into English.

It can be an expression of sentiment, of remembering, of a moment of seeing an obvious solution to a problem or of ending a topic and returning to the order of the day.

It is quite an ambivalent expression.

Nauta’s works are more or less relics from the stories of her protagonists.

By working from the points of view of these personalities, Nauta feels free to keep a kind of personal distance from the works she makes, whether they are paintings, drawings, sculptures, video’s or music.

In Ach ja Nauta leads you into the world of Skia, a shadow personality with a three-point hood.

The different classrooms can be seen as different chapters of Skia’s adventures and the life story is ending in the video Skia, the shadow trickster, episode I.

The classrooms seem to give the right environment for the story to delve into.

In fact Billytown (or in this case Bernice Nauta) always seems to make you feel that the gallery space was specially made for the show, or vice versa.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Billytown, Den Haag.


Bertus Pieters

Auke de Vries, Stopover; Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

Some 36 or 37 years ago Auke de Vries (1937) was my etching teacher at the Royal Academy in The Hague.

When teaching he would incidentally point to something on a working table, some haphazard constellation of an etching needle, a coffee cup, a pencil and a piece of paper and he’d say that it was an interesting composition.

Personally, at that age, i wasn’t really interested in that kind of aesthetics.

I had decided that making things of beauty, the things that were expected of you if you wanted to be an artist, were just not my cup of tea.

I had the stubborn idea that the world was not waiting for beauty and aesthetics.

Pick a bunch of flowers, if you wanted beauty, but don’t bother me with it!

Later on, i saw his monumental works in public space as he became more popular.

In it i saw the same kind of aesthetics again.

Quasi-haphazard constellations, just for their beauty, i ruled for myself.

In fact, i especially knew what i didn’t like.

Even later i plunged into a life in which many aspects were not beautiful at all.

Indeed i met many beautiful people, but the things they’d tell me and the world they’d found themselves in wasn’t beautiful at all.

When travelling for my work in the country i sometimes ran into a work by De Vries, or i just saw an object in the countryside that reminded me of his work.

It became clear to me that it must be great to make these things and to design and build them.

It was a kind of recomposing the world around you.

Auke de Vries’ present show at BaZ is a wonderful one.

Imagine, it is rebalancing the things, the thoughts, architecture, living creatures, art, well, the whole world, to be short.

I found it particularly moving.

I just hope that is not a personal thing.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Auke de Vries, Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag and all owners.


Bertus Pieters

Raquel Maulwurf, The Carbon War Room; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

I visited the Gemeentemuseum to write a review about The Carbon War Room by Raquel Maulwurf for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).

As i have written quite extensively about the show on VLR, i leave you here with some details of her works, which, of course, should be seen in real.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Raquel Maulwurf, Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag and the owners of the works.


Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #41

Townhouse with a private terrace and garden in a more or less neo-classicist style, built in 1890, Balistraat corner Laan Copes van Cattenburch.

‘Forbidden to place bicycles here’

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

All photographs were taken in March 2016.


Bertus Pieters

Kosmische en aardse verkenningen (Cosmic and earthly explorations); Nouvelles Images, The Hague

Cosmic and earthly explorations are being carried out at Nouvelles Images gallery, by four artists:

Ton Kraayeveld (1955), Rinke Nijburg (1964), Sara Rajaei (1976) and Amos Mulder (1982).

The last two are guests to the gallery and show videos and photo works that give the whole exhibition an edge.

Kraayeveld shows modernism, the style that tried to shape an ideal world, but he paints it in a desolate way, abandoned and senseless.

There are two videos by Mulder on show in diffuse footage about the interpretation of dreams and UFO’s.

No, don’t shrug your shoulders, this is good and compelling stuff (though seats, and a place with less reflection in the monitors would improve the experience).

Nijburg sees the sublime in the cosmos and the divine on earth.

Although he has some impressive bigger works on show i personally prefer his smaller ones.

It is as if the vastness of the universe is best experienced in these smaller gems.

Rajaei shows photographs and a video.

They deal with man’s relationship to time and landscape.

The video is a good almost meditative central piece to the show.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to the artists and Galerie Nouvelles Images, Den Haag.


Bertus Pieters